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Can I Just Tell You??

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Can I just tell you how much it irritates me when people who purport to be “religious” engage in unreligious or unethical behaviour??
Can I?
Please….pretty please??

Courtesy: Fotolia

So I was chatting with a woman after an excruciating exhillarating Spin class. She is a member of a local Orthodox shul. In the course of conversation, it came out that she believed that the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College was located in California. I corected her (it is in Wyncote, just north of Philadelphia) but offered that perhaps she was thinking of the Reform school or maybe the Conservative one.

Oh no!” she scoffed, “the Conservative seminary is in New York.”
“Actually, the Ziegler School, on the formerly known University of Judaism, currently known as the American Jewish University campus, is located in beautiful Bel Air.”
“Well,” she insisted, “the real one is in New York.”
“Oh dear, don’t tell the rabbis who were ordained at the Ziegler school,” I responded.
She blinked.
“It really is a legit school. I mean, Elliot Dorff is there.”
“I don’t know who that is,” she said.

She doesn’t know who Elliot Dorff is? Elliott Dorff? She doesn’t known who Elliot Freakin’ Dorff is?? He’s only one of the most brilliant Talmudic minds of his generation. Regarded with great esteem throughout the Jewish and legal communities, he is the foremost expert on ethics as well as the Chair of the Conservative Movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards.

She was not impressed.

This woman then proceeded to commit several acts of lashon ha-ra.

I thought about mentioning my homeboy, the Chofetz Chayim. But if she had never heard of Rabbi Dorff, I didn’t think it was too likely that she was familiar with the Chofetz Chayim.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Thursday, 10 May 2012 8:41 pm

    How can someone not know who Elliot Dorff is?! I feel your pain and frustration.

  2. Thursday, 10 May 2012 8:48 pm

    Can I just tell you how much I enjoyed this post? Pretty please?! Your exasperation is palpable and I am exasperated along with you. Well done, my friend, well done.

  3. Friday, 11 May 2012 6:56 pm


  4. Sunday, 13 May 2012 12:52 am

    As much as I wish I could say it shocks me, I’m not surprised that someone in the Orthodox community does not know of the great Rabi Dorff.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 13 May 2012 2:35 pm

      I am a little shocked only insofar as I am not Conservative and I know who he is. I am not Orthodox and I know the teachings of some of the great, contemporary poskim.

      As for being in the Orthodox community, the only thing that appeared to be Orthodox about this woman is where she is sending her synagogue dues. From outward appearances, only one of us “looked” Orthodox…and it wasn’t her.

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